Moving Money
 
 

CHRISTA ERICKSON

Eternal Climb, 2005
Computer with live stock feed, LCD monitor, wooden ladder

In a general economic sense, the forces of the stock market affect us all in our own financial climbs through life. Many are even controlled by its whims through retirement and investment accounts. The Eternal Climb makes this economic process physical as a kind of labor. The video playback of climbing a ladder is literally controlled by the fortunes of the market. An 'up' day on the market displays the hands in green, while a 'down' day is coded red. The speed of playback is based on rate of change in the market within the last 20 minutes. With market volatility, the action becomes frantic. When there is less change, the motion almost comes to a stop with subtle movements in the gesture revealed. These recent changes also dictate the direction of playback. Fluxuations in the ‘up’ direction make the video gesture a climb upward. ‘Down’ fluxuations in the market similarly show a decent. The gesture, however, is Sisyphean as the top always remains out of reach.

 

Eternal Climb

 

Debt Reducer, 2007-8
Computer, Electronics, Memory Foam Body, Corset, Satin Rope, Video of Gold Covered Chocolate Coins and Boiling Fat, Projector

As the U.S. National debt has recently surpassed $10 trillion, living to excess and beyond our means increasingly embodies and distresses our culture. “Debt Reducer" invites participants to contemplate personal and collective implications of debt and our culture of over-consumption.

This piece conveys a graphic, bodily sense of debt as constraining and suffocating through its “belt tightening” device and audio-video. A motorized corset and interactive video installation responds to individual debt levels that gallery visitors submit via their cell phones. As debt is submitted, the device squeezes a bloated dress-dummy torso through an elaborate pulley and winch system. Simultaneously, video of gold foil covered chocolate coins cascades down and accumulates at different heights according to amounts of debt. Absent viewer input, it randomly scrolls through the U.S. national debt, average student loan, and median gallery visitors’ debt that is projected upon audio-video of simmering fat.

Debt Reducer